By Madeleine Cravens
I worry what it says about my character,
that I cannot picture the reality of sickness,
I just wake and read Whitman
and watch the sun on the brick
of the next-door apartment.
I have three cans of chickpeas,
half a bottle of wine. You have
a stronger sense of the anthropocene.
You buy soup, talk with your father.
You know microbes are alive
as they move across the grid.
And in France each small town
has a street named for Pasteur,
who made men dig drains,
convinced them to stop spitting.
I wash my hands with hot water.
I don’t want to be clean. What does it say
that I am fully on my knees to this,
that I admit such weakness willingly,
that should you want company
after any of your transatlantic flights
I would take a cab immediately
to your red and burning door.